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Here is a free PDF download of the blank chord chart that you can use to write songs, scribble out your favourite hit or just to help you when you are learning new chords.

Free Guitar Chord Chart

When learning to play the electric or the acoustic guitar, one of the first things you will come up against are chords.

What is a chord?

A chord is when you play three or more notes at the same time. On guitar, dependant on the chord, you may only be holding down two strings, but strumming more. This is why this is classified as a chord. In the UK/European method, if you play just two notes, it is called an interval. However, in the Americanised system, you may hear of ‘power chords’ which are used in rock and heavy metal. These chords only consist of two notes (the 1st and 5th notes of the scale) and are neither major nor minor, which adds to their flexibility within their musical use. In the UK music theory system, we would refer to power chords as ‘intervals’, due to the stepping nature between the two notes. In the case of most power chords, in the UK we would refer to these intervals as ‘a perfect 5th’.

How do chord boxes work?

It is a bit like reading a map. The lines going down the way represent the six strings of the guitar, with the thickest string on the lefthand side and the thinnest string on the righthand side. Going across the way are the frets (or the spaces between the frets) – the frets are the pieces of metal, however, most guitarists refer to the space between as the fret, even though the correct name for this is the fretboard. Any dots, circles or circles with numbers that you see on the grid (chord box) refers to the fingers that you use to hold down the particular string and fret. Below is an example:

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The strings are noted at the bottom of the diagram, from thick to thin. An excellent way to remember the names of the strings (going from the thick string) is ‘Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears’. The numbers that are encompassed in the black circles are to stipulate what finger you should use to hold down which string, For example, finger two is holding down the 2nd fret of the ‘A’ string, and finger three is holding down the 2nd fret of the ‘D’ string. Each of the other strings has ‘O’ above them; this is to indicate that you strum these strings open, without holding anything down. So even though you are only holding down two notes, you are in fact playing six strings. The ‘1’ on the top left of the diagram is just a small reminder to let you know that is the first fret going parallel. If there happened to be an ‘X’ above a particular string or strings, you would avoid strumming these strings.

The best way to further your musical education quickly and professionally is by obtaining guitar lessons in Edinburgh with an experienced¬†teacher who has a track record of excellence in education, performance and who has qualifications in music, such as a Masters Degree in Music and who is also registered with Disclosure Scotland’s PVG Scheme. All of the above can be found at Edinburgh’s leading music school, Morningside School of Music. You will find that the staff go one step further and have NSPCC Child Protection training, British Red Cross First Aid training and all the rooms at Morningside School of Music are equipped with the latest high tech HD-CCTV which records to the cloud, as part of our stringent Child Protection Policy. Morningside School of Music teaches just as many adults as they do children due to the boom in adult learners wanting to pick up a new skill. Give them a call for more advice from one of their happy, friendly and useful staff.

Morningside School of Music: 0131 447 1117 –

Edinburgh Guitar Lessons at Morningside School of Music.